The Battle of Los Angeles (album)

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The Battle of Los Angeles
RAtM-BattleofLosAngeles.jpeg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 2, 1999 (1999-11-02)
Recorded1998
Genre
Length45:16
LabelEpic
ProducerBrendan O'Brien
Rage Against the Machine chronology
Live & Rare
(1998)
The Battle of Los Angeles
(1999)
Renegades
(2000)
Singles from The Battle of Los Angeles
  1. "Guerrilla Radio"
    Released: October 12, 1999
  2. "Sleep Now in the Fire"
    Released: November 4, 1999
  3. "Testify"
    Released: June 7, 2000

The Battle of Los Angeles is the third studio album by American rock band Rage Against the Machine, released by Epic Records on November 2, 1999. At the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards, it was nominated for Best Rock Album, and the song "Guerrilla Radio" won the award for Best Hard Rock Performance. In their year-end lists, Time and Rolling Stone magazines both named the album the best of 1999.

The album has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, indicating sales of at least two million units. It would be the last full-length studio album of original material released by the band before their first breakup in 2000 (their next album consisted of entirely of covers and was released after the breakup).

Concept[edit]

"Voice of the Voiceless", a song referring to Mumia Abu Jamal, references a letter written by Mao Zedong, called "A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire".[4][5] Another Rage-Mumia-Mao connection can be seen in Mumia's paraphrased words from Mao's "power grows out of the barrel of a gun" when Mumia gave his court testimony: "It is America who has seized political power from the Indian [Native American] race, not by God, not by Christianity, not by goodness, but by the barrel of a gun."[6]

The album's cover art was an original piece by Joey Krebs aka "The Street Phantom" (aka Joel Jaramillo), a well-known Los Angeles artist who has exhibited at numerous galleries in Los Angeles, New York City, and throughout the United States.[7]

Release and promotion[edit]

The Battle of Los Angeles debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 420,000 copies its first week and keeping Mariah Carey's highly-anticipated new album Rainbow from reaching the top of the chart. It was nominated for Best Rock Album at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards.

The music videos made for "Sleep Now in the Fire" and "Testify" were directed by documentarian Michael Moore, who appears in both videos.[8][9]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[1]
Entertainment WeeklyA[10]
Houston Chronicle[11]
Los Angeles Times[12]
NME7/10[2]
Pitchfork8.7/10[13]
Rolling Stone[14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[15]
Spin9/10[16]
USA Today[17]

In their year-end lists, Time and Rolling Stone magazines both named The Battle of Los Angeles the best album of 1999. Retrospectively, it was ranked number 426 on Rolling Stone's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2005, the album was listed at number 53 in Spin magazine's list of the 100 greatest albums from 1985–2005, as well as number 369 in Rock Hard magazine's book The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[18] In 2021, Metal Hammer magazine named it one of the 20 best metal albums of 1999.[19]

Awards[edit]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics are written by Zack de la Rocha; all music is composed by Rage Against the Machine.

No.TitleLength
1."Testify"3:30
2."Guerrilla Radio"3:26
3."Calm Like a Bomb"4:58
4."Mic Check"3:33
5."Sleep Now in the Fire"3:25
6."Born of a Broken Man"4:40
7."Born as Ghosts"3:22
8."Maria"3:48
9."Voice of the Voiceless"2:31
10."New Millennium Homes"3:44
11."Ashes in the Fall"4:37
12."War Within a Breath"3:36
Total length:45:10
Australian and Japanese edition bonus track
No.TitleLength
13."No Shelter"4:06
Bonus promo CD/tape

In the US, some retail stores gave a free promo CD to those who pre-ordered the album that contained the songs "Clear the Lane" (from the "Killing in the Name" single) and "Hadda Be Playing on the Jukebox" (Live) (from the "Bulls on Parade" single). In Australia, certain chains gave a promo tape titled New... Live... Rare to those who pre-ordered the album that featured "Calm Like a Bomb" and the aforementioned two songs repeated on both sides. The versions of all three songs were the same as those that had been previously released.

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[46] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[47] 3× Platinum 300,000double-dagger
Japan (RIAJ)[48] Gold 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[49] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[50] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[51] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Appearances in other media[edit]

"Guerrilla Radio" is featured in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (2000). The song as it appears in the Nintendo 64 version of the game is heavily-edited, as it is in Madden NFL 10 (2009). Both "Testify" and "Guerrilla Radio" are featured in the 2008 video game Rock Band 2, being on-disc and downloadable, respectively.

"Calm Like a Bomb" appears in the end credits of The Matrix Reloaded (2003).

Saul Williams sampled "Born of a Broken Man" for the song "Om Nia Merican" on his 2001 album Amethyst Rock Star.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bush, John. "The Battle of Los Angeles – Rage Against the Machine". AllMusic. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Wells, Steven (November 6, 1999). "Rage Against The Machine – The Battle Of Los Angeles". NME. Archived from the original on June 16, 2000. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  3. ^ Coffman, Tim (April 29, 2022). "10 Classic Music Albums That Will Make You Love Nu Metal". WhatCulture. Retrieved April 29, 2022.
  4. ^ A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire, 1930
  5. ^ Voice of the Voiceless, Genius.com
  6. ^ "From Death Row, Mumia Abu-Jamal". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021.
  7. ^ "The Street Phantom - Artist's Statement at Graffiti Verite.com". Graffitiverite.com. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  8. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3dvbM6Pias at 2:30
  9. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w211KOQ5BMI at 2m:23
  10. ^ Hermes, Will (November 1, 1999). "The Battle of Los Angeles". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on October 3, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  11. ^ Sullivan, James (October 31, 1999). "Rage Still at Forefront Of Rock's Revolution". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  12. ^ "Listen Up, Elves!". Los Angeles Times. December 2, 1999. Archived from the original on November 11, 2012. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  13. ^ Larson, Jeremy D. (August 9, 2020). "Rage Against the Machine: The Battle of Los Angeles". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  14. ^ Strauss, Neil (November 11, 1999). "The Battle of Los Angeles". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  15. ^ Tate, Greg (2004). "Rage Against the Machine". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 672–73. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8.
  16. ^ Smith, RJ (December 1999). "The New Machine Age". Spin. Vol. 15, no. 12. pp. 213–14. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  17. ^ Gundersen, Edna (November 2, 1999). "Rap-metal quartet rages rhythmically for justice". USA Today.
  18. ^ Best of Rock & Metal - Die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten (in German). Rock Hard. 2005. p. 61. ISBN 978-3-89880-517-9.
  19. ^ "The Top 20 best metal albums of 1999". Metal Hammer. Future plc. January 21, 2021. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  20. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles". Hung Medien.
  21. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles" (in German). Hung Medien.
  22. ^ "Ultratop.be – Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  23. ^ "Ultratop.be – Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles" (in French). Hung Medien.
  24. ^ "Rage Against the Machine Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard.
  25. ^ "Listen - Danmarks Officielle Hitliste - Udarbejdet af AIM Nielsen for IFPI Danmark - Uge 44". Ekstra Bladet (in Danish). Copenhagen. November 14, 1999.
  26. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  27. ^ "Eurochart Top 100 Albums - November 20, 1999" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 16, no. 47. November 20, 1999. p. 18. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  28. ^ "Rage Against the Machine: The Battle of Los Angeles" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  29. ^ "Lescharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles". Hung Medien.
  30. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts.
  31. ^ "Hits of the World - Italy". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. November 20, 1999. p. 88. ISSN 0006-2510 – via Google Books.
  32. ^ "Charts.nz – Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles". Hung Medien.
  33. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles". Hung Medien.
  34. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  35. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  36. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles". Hung Medien.
  37. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles". Hung Medien.
  38. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  39. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  40. ^ "Rage Against the Machine Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  41. ^ "Rage Against the Machine Chart History (Top Catalog Albums)". Billboard.
  42. ^ "ARIA End of Year Albums Chart 1999". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  43. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1999". Billboard. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  44. ^ "Canada's Top 200 Albums of 2000". Jam!. Archived from the original on September 6, 2004. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  45. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2000". Billboard. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  46. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1999 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association.
  47. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles". Music Canada. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  48. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Select 1999年11月 on the drop-down menu
  49. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles". Recorded Music NZ.
  50. ^ "British album certifications – Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type The Battle of Los Angeles in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  51. ^ "American album certifications – Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles". Recording Industry Association of America.

External links[edit]